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Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Janet Lim-Napoles surrenders to President Aquino
BREAKING: Fugitive businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles is finally in government custody Wednesday after weeks of evading arrest, her lawyer said.
Napoles, who is wanted for serious illegal detention, is now with President Benigno Aquino, Atty. Lorna Kapunan told ABS-CBN News.
The Palace confirmed Napoles' surrender.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, in a statement, said Napoles surrendered to Aquino.
"At 9:37 p.m on August 28, Janet Napoles surrendered to President Aquino. Napoles is wanted on charges of serious illegal detention arising from the alleged kidnapping of Benhur Luy," Lacierda said in a statement.
"The President turned her over to the custody of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and Philippine National Police Director-General Alan Purisima for processing and booking," he added.
Aquino said Napoles should face the charges against her first before the government will consider turning her into a state witness against those involved in the pork barrel scam.
"Yung pagiging state witness pag-aaralan 'yan pero importante muna ay may warrant of arrest kailangan ma-serve ng executive itong warrant of arrest," Aquino said.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, meanwhile, said Napoles is not yet being considered to become a state witness.
She added that there are conditions to be one, including being the least guilty in a case.
"Sa ngayon hindi pa namin 'yan sineseryosong kino-consider but we cannot really rule out that possibility. There is always that possibility pero hindi pa ho namin talaga 'yan kino-consider. At alam n'yo naman po na mayroong mga elements or requirements or conditions bago ang isang akusado, or bago ang isang respondent na i-consider na isang state witness."
Investigators are targeting to file the first batch of cases in two weeks against Napoles, and possibly including lawmakers.
De Lima said the perpetrators of the pork barrel scam may face plunder charges but that it would still be subject to "further evaluation" by NBI's legal team review by the Office of the Ombudsman. - with reports from Jenny Reyes and Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News
article source: abs-cbnnews.com
graphic by rappler.com